Rabobank signee Matti Breschel aiming for Tour of Flanders in 2011
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Rabobank signee Matti Breschel aiming for Tour of Flanders in 2011

by Jered Gruber at 6:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Ever improving Classics specialist looking forward to leadership role on Rabobank

Matti Breschel's departure from Bjarne Riis's Saxo Bank team heading into the 2011 was eyebrow-raising news, even more so because the Danish one day star wasn't heading to the new Luxembourg project like the vast portion of his teammates this year, but rather Dutch powerhouse, Rabobank.

The move looks like it could be perfect, both for Breschel and Rabobank. Rabobank has long had a powerful team for the Classics, but it has never seemed to get everything right. With the signing of Breschel, the orange boys from the Netherlands look to have picked up a Classics specialist at home on nearly any terrain that is on the rise and ready to take his first big win in the near future.

A win at the Dwars Door Vlaanderen in 2010 was Breschel's latest step upward. He followed that with a fine end of season run - all signs point to a breakout 2011 on a team where he should get every opportunity to shine, namely, a team where he can emerge out of the shadow of Fabian Cancellara. For Breschel, there was little question of moving heading into 2011 if he wanted to get his own chances.

"Fabian Cancellara is a great racer, but if he is in your team, and he is as strong as last year, it makes sense that he has a good chance of winning again," said the 2009 Danish national champion in a chat with Wielerland.nl.

Not being teammates with Fabian Cancellara will change things for both the good and the negative though. When Breschel was teammates with Cancellara, he had to deal with a team captain that was THE main man in the big races. However Breschel could also count on all eyes following the Swiss superstar's every move, to the extent that opportunities would open up for Breschel. His solo victory at the Dwars Door Vlaanderen was evidence of this, but in 2011, it will be Breschel's turn to focus his attention on just when Cancellara will unleash his fury.

"I will have to get used to racing without Cancellara on my team, and I won't be a favorite right from the beginning."

It shouldn't take long for Breschel to assume his spot amongst the major favorites in the Spring Classics, though. His abilities in the long, difficult one day races along with his quick finishing speed makes him a major threat in virtually any one day race from the start to the end of the season.

While Rabobank doesn't possess any superstar names like Cancellara, Boonen, or Gilbert, Breschel is confident that the team Rabobank will field come next spring will be able to go head to head with the biggest names in the sport.

"I think, especially with Lars Boom and Sebastian Langeveld at my side, that Rabobank may play an important role in the spring."

While Breschel can contend in a multitude of the year's biggest Classics, the 26 year old holds one race above all others: the Tour of Flanders.

"In particular, the Ronde van Vlaanderen fits me like a glove. It's my dream to win this race. I know the roads well now, and I also have the experience for the finale."

It will be interesting to see how not only Breschel improves heading into next spring, but also his other talented teammates, namely Boom and Langeveld.


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